The tongue has two functions - to taste the food and to speak.
Use of Scornful and Slightful Speech :
We have read about importance of 'non-violence' in our scriptures.
"Non-violence' means not hurting anybody physically, mentally or by speech"
Thus Sai Baba also advised us to be humble in our speech. Scornful words hurt a person much more than physical or mental violence. Such words are not easily forgotten and cannot be withdrawn. Consequently they cause ever-lasting ill-feeling. Thus Baba's advice was to be soft in speech. Even more He said, "Let anybody speak hundreds of things against you, do not resent by giving any bitter reply. If you tolerate such things you will certainly be happy" - Chapter 19 of Sacred Text - Shri Sai Satcharitra. To make it more sure that the devotees should follow it, He added, "He, who carps and cavils at others, pierces Me in the heart and injures Me, but he that suffers and endures, pleases Me most" - Chapter 44.
Arguments and Disputes :
Another teaching which Sai Baba gave about speech was to avoid arguments and disputes which spring from egoism. They spread ill-feelings, hatred and enmity. We have seen how Baba checked this habit of arguing regarding necessity of a Guru by Shri Hemadpantin Chapter 2. Baba made this habit permanently null by addressing him as 'Hemadpant' and gave permission to write Sacred Text - Shri Sai Satcharitra.
Indulgence in Scandal-mongering and Discussions of Other's Affairs :
Sai Baba advised His devotees not to indulge in scandal-mongering or slandering others. Baba by His omniscient nature knew where and when devotees committed any mistakes. He made it a point to correct them by effectively taunting them.
This is seen by this incident : Once it so happened that, a Bhakta of Baba, reviled someone behind his back before other people. Leaving aside merits he dwelt on the faults of his brother and spoke so sarcastically that, the hearers were disgusted. Generally we see that, people have a tendency to scandalize others unnecessarily and this brings on ill-feelings. Sai Baba knew this and when He met slanderer at noon, near Lendi, Baba pointed out to him a pig, that was eating filth near the fence and said to him, "Behold, how, with what relish it is gulping filth. Your conduct is similar. You go on reviling your own brethren to your heart's content. After performing many deeds of merit you are born as a human and if you act like this, how can Shirdi help you in anyway?" Needless to say that the Bhakta took the lesson to his heart and went away. - Chapter 19.
Let us take another incident. A pleader from Pandharpur unnecessarily indulged in discussion regarding sub-judge Noolkar's coming and staying at Shirdi for cure of his ill-health. When the pleader went to Shirdi, Sai Baba said, "How cunning people are! They fall at the feet, offer dakshina, but inwardly give abuses behind the back. Is not this wonderful?" The pleader understood that the remark was aimed at himself, and being convinced, later said to Kakasaheb Dixit, "This is not a rebuke to me but a favour and advice that I should not indulge in any scandal or slander of others and not interfere unnecessarily in others' affairs".
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